Well, yet another attemp to make J.C. Amato a victim. Poor J.C. he has been treated so unfairly! Never mind that he MURDERED Tonia. That is Tonia at the right for those that may have forgotton. She would be here to defend her husband on the weapons charges but Oh yeah, he killed her!! We can't have anyone make HIM feel bad. The best that money can buy! Lawyer after lawyer, money after money, judge after judge. Eventually, no one will even remember Tonia. (She was the victim! Not J.C. for those of you that don't know that!) I am referring to the story in this mornings Journal. (below)
As always, my thoughts and prayers are for Tonia's family....
LISBON -The defense attorney for murder suspect J.C. Amato Jr. plans to challenge the grounds on which a search warrant was obtained that resulted in additional charges being filed against him.
James T. Hartford told Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike during a hearing Tuesday that he intends to file such a motion because of what he believes are major legal defects with the Sept. 17 warrant used to search the Yellow Creek Township home of Amato's parents.
Amato Jr. has been living with his parents while awaiting trial on Feb. 17 for allegedly murdering his wife, Tonia, in July 2007. Amato Jr. has admitted shooting his wife at their Wellsville home but claims it was in self defense after she shot at him with a handgun while they were arguing.
In September, investigators obtained a warrant to search the parents' residence for the handgun believed to have been used to shoot Tonia Amato because the firearm in possession of authorities didn't match the bullet recovered at the scene. During the search, investigators found various firearms and pipe bombs in Amato Jr.'s bedroom. This resulted in his being indicted in October for possessing weapons while under indictment. Yesterday's hearing was on the weapons charge.
Unlike the murder charge, where his father posted $10,000 bond, Amato Jr. has remained in the county jail since his arrest on the weapons charge. Because of speedy trial requirements, he must go on trial by mid-December or the charge against him is dismissed.
The parties agreed to schedule a trial date of Dec. 16 on the gun charge, but Pike said he would continue the case once Hartford files his motion before then challenging the legal basis for the search warrant. Since Pike issued the warrant and cannot review a decision he made, a visiting judge will have to be appointed to decide the issue.
In other news, attorney Lynn Grimshaw was appointed special prosecutor to handle the gun charge against Amato Jr. since he is already the special prosecutor assigned to the murder case.